House of Lords
Lord Ouseley (Crossbench)
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to increase investment in benefits and tax credits to support families and children in order to help them avoid debt, stimulate the economy and meet the target to halve child poverty by 2010.
Lord Myners (Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury; Labour)
Between 1998-99 and 2007-08, 500,000 children were lifted out of relative poverty. The latest statistics do not take into account measures announced in and since Budget 2007 which are expected to lift around a further 500,000 children out of relative poverty.
The Government continue to work towards the 2010 target. We have taken further steps at Budgets and Pre-Budget Reports—for example, both working and child tax credit were increased at Budget 2009, with the child element of child tax credit rising by £150, £75 above the level of indexation. Further, the Government have committed to increase the child element of child tax credit by another £20 above indexation in April 2010.
Families with children in the poorest fifth of the population are on average £4,750 a year better off in real terms than in 1997. The Government remain committed to tackling child poverty, as shown by the Child Poverty Bill.
Decisions on investment in benefits and tax credits are taken at Pre-Budget Reports and Budgets.